Delivering on the Promise of Delivery and Snaplications

Grubhub completing Eat24 acquisition as Bite Squad gobbled up local delivery services top the headlines on this edition of MRM’s Daily Bite. Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at

MRM Daily Bite Logo

Grubhub Closes on Eat24 Acquisition

Grubhub Inc. closed its acquisition of Eat24 from Yelp. Yelp previously announced its plan to sell Eat24 as part of a strategic partnership with Grubhub to integrate online ordering from all Grubhub restaurants onto the Yelp local goods and services platform. The partnership with Grubhub became effective upon the closing of the sale, and is expected to increase the number of order-enabled restaurants on Yelp to approximately 75,000 when fully implemented.

“Grubhub creates unmatched value for our restaurant partners and the best possible experience for diners,” said Matt Maloney, Grubhub CEO. “Eat24’s loyal diner base and extensive restaurant selection will satisfy more diners while driving more orders to restaurants and our drivers. We couldn’t be more excited about the Eat24 acquisition and Yelp partnership.”

With the close of the Eat24 deal, Grubhub has completed all three of the acquisitions discussed on its second quarter earnings call, including Foodler and OrderUp. In connection with these acquisitions, Grubhub has refinanced its existing credit facility with a new five-year, $350 million committed facility, consisting of a $125 million term loan and an expanded $225 million revolving credit facility.

“With the sale of Eat24 now complete, we are excited to begin our long-term partnership with Grubhub,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “This partnership will enhance our consumer product offering in Yelp’s highest trafficked category by adding tens of thousands of additional restaurants for online ordering and delivery.”

Yelp received approximately $251.7 million in cash at closing, which remains subject to customary post-closing adjustments, and an additional $28.8 million in cash will be held in escrow for an 18-month period after closing to secure Grubhub’s rights of indemnification. Yelp will update its full year 2017 financial outlook, reflecting the expected financial impact of the sale of Eat24 and Grubhub partnership, upon reporting the third quarter 2017 financial results.

Bite Squad Completes Local Delivery Acquisition and Integration

Bite Squad, an online and mobile food ordering and delivery service, completed the acquisition and integration of 17 local restaurant delivery companies as part of its strategy to consolidate the fragmented restaurant delivery service industry and expand the company’s national footprint to more than 30 metropolitan areas across the United States.

Aloha2Go, Ashley’s Food, Café Courier Ohio, Chef Shuttle, Delicious Deliveries, Doorstep Delivery, Foodie Call, FoodNow, Gainesville2Go, Goodybag, Grub Cab, Restaurants Express, Room Service in Paradise, Takeout Taxi Maryland, 2 Dollar Delivery, 256ToGo, and 864ToGo are now operating under the Bite Squad banner and are seamlessly powered by Bite Squad’s market-leading technology, operational systems, and a fleet of several thousand W2-employed delivery drivers.

“By integrating our premier delivery experience to as many customers and geographies as we can, we continue to achieve rapid growth and efficiencies,” said Kian Salehi, CEO and co-founder of Bite Squad. “Our platform was built to scale, enabling us to quickly integrate acquisition targets and leverage our operational excellence. Now powered by our best-in-class ordering, routing, and dispatching technologies, our thousands of delivery drivers, and our commitment to customer service, Bite Squad customers across all our markets will experience a better, faster, and more consistent service at a lower cost. We have already seen growth begin to take place in our new cities, and our technology continues to produce superior unit economics for food delivery.”

Founded in the summer of 2012 in Minneapolis, Bite Squad has partnered with local restaurants across more than 30 metropolitan areas, hand-picked a best-in-class customer support squad, and assembled a fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles to deliver fresh food from the restaurant straight to your door, quickly and hassle-free.

McDonald’s Spaplications Program Returns
McDonald’s modern approach to recruiting – Snaplications – is back. For Millennial job seekers, this is good news since according to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of McDonald’s, 67 percent of Millennials will look for a seasonal job.

Knowing more than half of hires at company-owned restaurants are under 24 years old, McDonald’s utilizes Snapchat as a recruitment tool to meet potential job seekers where they are – their phones. ‘Snaplications,’ a term coined by McDonald’s, is a first-to-market hiring tool in the U.S. that allows job seekers to be served an ad and opportunity to begin the application process for a job at a McDonald’s restaurant through the Snapchat app. Snaplications run through November 28.
“We saw significant engagement with Snaplications in the summer, and we’re excited to bring it back knowing young job seekers are on the job hunt again.” said Juan Marcos, chief people officer, McDonald’s USA. “McDonald’s and its independent franchisees are committed to being America’s best first job by providing flexible schedules, professional skills, and education. A part of that commitment also includes delivering easy and enjoyable ways for potential crew members to join the restaurant teams.”
While only three percent of U.S. recruiters are using Snapchat, McDonald’s approach with Snapchat paid off during the summer hiring period. The company saw a 35 percent increase in application flow and a 30 percent traffic increase to the careers page due to the combined efforts of Snaplications and the larger marketing campaign.
While many will use extra money from a seasonal job to buy someone a gift or treat themselves, others are looking to learn new skills they can take with them to another job, according to the McDonald’s survey – such as people skills (37 percent), patience and customer service (31 percent), time management (23 percent) and quick math (10 percent).
“These transferable skills are a staple at McDonald’s restaurants and set people up for success, whether they stay with the brand or further their careers elsewhere,” Marcos added.
McDonald’s and its independent franchisees strive to offer a work environment that sets people up for success at their McDonald’s and beyond …with education programs such as Archways to Opportunity®, which gives eligible employees in participating restaurants an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront tuition assistance for college courses, access academic advising courses, and learn English as a second language.
 Russo’s Brings on Pizza Champ

Russo’s Restaurants, which includes Russo’s New York Pizzeria as well as Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, recently appointed award-winning Vincenzo “Enzo” Lavecchia, top photo, as corporate chef, where he will lead menu expansion, staff development and more. The new corporate chef will spend time at every Russo’s Restaurants location training managers on proper food preparation and culinary techniques. A native of Italy, Lavecchia will ensure each Italian-inspired dish is as authentic as possible by passing his skills and knowledge on to each location’s kitchen team.

“When I was growing up, the most popular room in the house was the kitchen,” said Lavecchia. “I feel very lucky to be making a living doing something I love. Being able to share my experiences and skills with other talented chefs has always been a dream of mine, so I can’t wait to bring my experiences and authentic Italian cooking to Texas and beyond.”

A two-time world champion pizza maker and a three-time United Arab Emirates pizza champion, Lavecchia is no stranger to the kitchen. His strong background in the culinary industry includes more than six years experience working as a head chef at Eataly and Ronda Locatelli in Dubai. Lavecchia piqued his culinary interest at a young age at home in Italy, where he grew up learning how to create a wide variety of Italian dishes. While attending Armando Perotti catering school, he learned the importance of adding a signature twist to dishes without compromising authenticity.

“This was an incredibly important decision and we couldn’t have made a more solid choice for the role of corporate chef,” said Chef Anthony Russo, owner and CEO of Russo’s Restaurants. “We wanted someone with both a strong culinary background and a lifelong passion for cooking – Enzo gives us that and more.”

Russo’s Restaurants is a 47-location national and international franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Russo’s Restaurants is composed of a mix of corporate and franchised locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii. Russo’s has entered international markets as well, with locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. There are an additional 30-plus units in development both in the United States and internationally.

The Best Foodie Cities in America

With Oct. 16 being World Food Day and restaurant prices rising, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2017’s Best Foodie Cities in America. To determine the best and cheapest local foodie scenes, WalletHub compared more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics. The data set ranges from affordability and accessibility of high-quality restaurants to food festivals per capita to craft breweries and wineries per capita.

Top 20 Foodie Cities in America    
1 San Francisco, CA   11 Tampa, FL  
2 Portland, OR   12 Atlanta, GA  
3 New York, NY   13 Chicago, IL  
4 Los Angeles, CA   14 Philadelphia, PA  
5 Miami, FL   15 Sacramento, CA  
6 Orlando, FL   16 Houston, TX  
7 Austin, TX   17 St. Louis, MO  
8 Las Vegas, NV   18 Denver, CO  
9 San Diego, CA   19 Washington, DC  
10 Seattle, WA   20 Cincinnati, OH  

Best vs. Worst

  • New York has the most gourmet specialty-food stores (per square root of population), 1.3907, which is 56.5 times more than in West Valley City, Utah, the city with the fewest at 0.0246.
  • San Francisco has the most cooking schools (per square root of population), 0.0567, which is 37.8 times more than in Omaha, Nebraska, the city with the fewest at 0.0015.
  • New York, has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 10.59, which is 37.8 times more than in Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the fewest at 0.28.
  • Orlando, Florida, has the most ice cream and frozen yogurt shops (per square root of population), 0.3158, which is 38.5 times more than in West Valley City, Utah, the city with the fewest at 0.0082.